5 Team Building Ideas for Your Company, Itineraries Included
Ever sit at your desk and want to get away? (that’s rhetorical) Have you imagined you and your co-workers taking time to do something fun together at least once a month (besides lunch)? Local Wisdom, Inc. has long had its roundtable traditions, where we come together once a month to have fun and sometimes tie that fun back to work. We find it valuable to take this time to develop together as a company. The following are 5 different mental breaks and team building activities we’ve successfully done together and hope you’re able to try out:
1. What’s Your Personality?
12 min to take the personality test on www.16personalities.com
10 min to give the group a chance to read their results
10 min to go around and guess who has which personality
25 – 30 min to discuss each person’s strengths and room for improvement, especially as it pertains to the workplace, and anything the results didn’t capture
5 min to share which celebrities share the same personality profile
2. Communication is Not a Game
Socratic seminar answering the tough questions about how to communicate better with each other; some questions to guide the discussion:
- How do you get someone who may be unapproachable or narrow-minded to be open to your perspective or idea?
- How do you gracefully communicate to someone that they’re not pulling their weight?
- What’s the most effective way to communicate to someone that they’re giving you tasks that are out of scope and outside of your capacity?
- How do you motivate people to do what you want them to do?
- How do you handle a situation in which you and a co-worker disagree on a matter while in a general meeting or meeting with a client?
3. Set the Tone
Whether it’s the beginning of the year or your company needs to reset itself mid-year, setting the stage and expectations for each department is an important check-in to have throughout the year.
30 min to review and emphasize your company’s credo, mission, brand, and any other relevant strategies
15 min for Q&A
10 min intermission
30 min for each department to go over guidelines, expectations, and goals
15 min for Q&A
*If doing this activity in the beginning of the year or mid-year, there’s the option of doing a “year in review” or “mid-year review”
4. TLC (Tender Love & Care)
20 – 25 min Strengths
Give everyone a piece of paper and have them write their names at the top of it. Then have everyone pass their papers around clockwise. For each person, you are to write at least 3 positive/admirable traits about that person. Do this until your paper makes its way back to you. Whether people want to share is optional.
20 – 25 min Paper Airplanes
On a separate sheet of paper, have everyone draw a small symbol at the top right-hand corner (don’t have them write their names). Each person will then write down something they’re trying to improve or for which they could use advice (example: I struggle to prioritize tasks; I feel like my voice is not heard in meetings). Once everyone has written, you will make a paper airplane out of your paper. Have half the room stand on one side and the other stand on the other side and then fly your paper airplanes to the other side for an exchange. Pick up the airplane that lands closest to you and write down your piece of advice. You’ll fly the paper airplanes one more time before retrieving your own airplane again.
15 min Breakup Letter
Write a breakup letter to whatever it was that you said you were struggling with. Sharing these are optional and usually hilarious.
5. What’s On Your Desk & How To Make Toast
How to Make Toast Itinerary
10 min to draw how to make toast on your own sheet, without using words – only pictures
10 min to take the best drawing out of your steps, draw it on a post-it, and then collaborate with your co-workers to come up with one process
20 min Discussion about the importance of having process; questions to guide your discussion include:
- What did you learn about brainstorming and coming up with a process on your own?
- What were some of the challenges of having to incorporate part of your ideas with others’?
- What are the consequences of not having process within a company?
What’s On Your Desk Itinerary
5 min Ask everyone to bring an object from their desk and then put your co-workers into groups of 2.
10 min for groups to pick an object that they will be selling to everyone else. Then have the groups brainstorm and hash out a selling strategy. Everyone will get 60 seconds to sell their “product.”
15 min (flexible depending on number of groups) to allow each group 60 seconds to sell their object. After each group presents, discuss what was convincing and what wasn’t so convincing.
10 min to discuss what the groups learned about communicating effectively, selling an idea, product, or service, and thinking on your feet.
*Can include fun intro games like trivia or name that tune before delving into the different exercises
*Special thanks to Amy Yee from Nonlinear for sharing the “How to Make Toast” exercise at an ALI conference; credit to https://wheniwork.com/blog/team-building-games/ for helping inspire some of these exercises and itineraries
Happy Team Building!